Apple Hill Playhouse's production of 'Aladdin' a different take on genie tale
Stas Ziolkowski promises that Apple Hill Playhouse's production of “Aladdin” will not be like the popular 1992 Disney animated film that featured the voice of Robin Williams as the magical genie.
“This ‘Aladdin' will be nothing like Disney. It's not computer generated, and the story is true to older versions,” says Ziolkowski of Murrysville, who is directing the show for Johnny Appleseed Children's Theatre.
Apple Hill's stage version with music, lyrics and book by Richard Kinter and adapted by Ziolkowski is an adventure tale pitting good against evil. It involves several characters who are seeking different things, including Magrabi, the magician, who wants the magic lamp; Aladdin, who wants to meet the princess; and the Sultan, who wants his daughter to be happy.
Ziolkowski performed as the Troll last season in another Apple Hill children's production, “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum.” He had a good experience and was happy to agree to direct “Aladdin” when he was asked by Pat Beyer, Apple Hill's producer and artistic director.
“I thought it would be fun to work with the young people again. I did many theater productions in the past with elementary students, and it is always enjoyable,” he says.
The director says the strength of Apple Hill's “Aladdin” is with its talented cast members.
“Jarrett Reiche (Aladdin) and Simone D'Souza (Princess Graziaja) have beautiful singing voices. They portray the characters as if they weren't acting at all,” Ziolkowski says. “Jarrett is the most experienced member of the cast and the oldest at 18. Simone and Jarrett are perfect as the beautiful and handsome Princess and Aladdin.
“Colton Pikovsky as Magrabi the Magician is mysterious and evil, and Hannah Barch (Aladdin's mother) portrays the beleaguered woman in a marvelous way, far beyond her years.”
Also adding to the production are Jeffrey Bachus (Landlord), who also provides offstage voices for other characters, Trent Edwards (Genie of the Lamp) and Colton Edwards (Sultan).
Ziolkowski is a stage veteran, having acted in, directed, written and produced more than 100 shows since 1985. A few of his favorite roles were Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Alfred P. Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” Fagin in “Oliver” and Jesus in “Godspell.”
Reiche, of Jeannette, has acted in several theater productions, but never in a children's show, which is why he decided to audition for “Aladdin.”
“Being Aladdin is such a wonderful experience, and I'm really having a ball with it,” he says. “Aladdin is a unique character full of energy and spunk. The character also requires dynamic comic timing, which is also a ton of fun.”
Reiche graduated from Penn-Trafford High School in 2013 and took some theater classes at Penn State University before transferring to Marymount Manhattan, a performing-arts school in New York City, where he will be a sophomore working on a bachelor of fine arts in acting.
Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dozens dead in gunfight on Mexico ranch
- Consumer prices rose in April for 3rd straight month
- Stocks end quiet week with loss
- Pirates’ McCutchen laughs off pay stub leak
- 28 evacuated as fire hits oil platform off Louisiana coast
- As oil production soars, so do pipeline leaks
- Pirates notebook: Stewart, Cole develop rapport
- D.C. mansion murder suspect had help, police say
- ISIS solidifies grip on Syrian town of Palmyra
- Ireland voters expected to OK gay marriage
- Trooper fatally shoots burglary suspect inside Somerset Twp. grocery store